Syria opposition activist, daughter found dead in Istanbul: report

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has become home to almost three million Syrian refugees, many of them opponents of the Assad regime. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2017
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Syria opposition activist, daughter found dead in Istanbul: report

ISTANBUL: A senior Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter have been found dead at their apartment in Istanbul, the Dogan news agency reported on Friday.
Friends raised the alarm after being unable to reach Aroubeh Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat by telephone, the news agency said.
Turkish police then arrived at their apartment in the Uskudar district on the Asian side of Istanbul and found both women dead. Unconfirmed reports said that their throats had been cut.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has become home to almost three million Syrian refugees, many of them opponents of the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Aroubeh Barakat’s sister Shaza also confirmed the deaths in a Facebook post, saying the two “were assassinated at the hands of injustice and tyranny.” She said that they had been stabbed to death.
She said her sister had opposed the Assad regime from the 1980s going back to the rule of Bashar Assad’s father Hafez.
The Yeni Safak daily said Aroubeh Barakat had carried out investigations into alleged torture in prisons run by the Assad regime.
It said she had initially lived in Britain, then the United Arab Emirates before coming to Istanbul.
Syrian activist Rami Jarrah wrote on Facebook that the family believes the killing could be due to Aroubeh’s opposition activities.
Halla Barakat, 22, was working for a website called Orient News and had also for a time worked for Turkish state broadcaster TRT.
Syrian opposition activists and journalists have repeatedly complained of threats to their security.
Two Syrian journalists from the city of Raqqa who were opposed to the Daesh extremist group and were found beheaded in southern Turkey in 2015.


Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

Updated 28 min 27 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, the UAE, UK and US hold Yemen talks in London

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet
  • Meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths

LONDON: Saudi Arabia and the UAE met in London on Friday to discuss with the UK and US the next steps in the Yemen peace process.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir took part in the meeting of the Yemen Quartet.

The UK Foreign Office said the meeting discussed how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.

A ceasefire between Yemeni government troops and Houthi militants was agreed for the key port of Hodeidah in December during talks in Sweden. But the implementation of the truce has stalled and the Arab Coalition supporting Yemeni forces has accused the Iran-backed Houthis of dozens of violations. The coalition includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“I called this meeting so that we keep doing everything we can to move forward on the hard road to peace in Yemen,” UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. “This is a horrendous conflict and it is taking too long to turn the ceasefire agreed in Stockholm into a durable path to peace.”

The meeting was also attended by the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nayan, and David Satterfield, a US acting assistant secretary of state.